Press Release

ATK Technologies Help NASA’s Swift in Its Launch and Exploration of Gamma Ray Bursts

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2004
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ATK solid
propulsion and composite technologies supported Saturday’s successful launch
of a Boeing Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Swift observatory into orbit from
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Swift, which includes four key ATK
composite assemblies, will study gamma ray bursts — the most powerful
explosions in the universe.

Augmented thrust for the launch was provided by three GEM-40 solid
propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured by ATK — continuing a tradition of
flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990.

The boosters ignited at lift-off with the first-stage main engine and
burned for about one minute. The spent motors were jettisoned from the rocket
as it continued its ascent.

Protecting the Swift observatory during its launch and ascent was a
10-foot composite payload fairing manufactured by ATK.

For NASA’s Swift, ATK designed and produced four unique composite
structures to protect and stabilize the observatory’s highly sensitive
instruments in space. Covered by a composite coded mask panel fabricated by
ATK, the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) is the first of Swift’s instruments to
detect and localize a gamma ray burst. The precision X-ray telescope, also
fashioned by ATK, and the ultraviolet/optical telescope, are supported by a
stable ATK composite optical bench. Protecting the Swift telescopes is a
sunshade held in place by five ATK composite tubes.

ATK is a $2.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing
13,600 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet
at .

SpaceRef staff editor.